Studying in Singapore for Malaysians

5 min read|Last Updated: May 24, 2023|

Harnessing cutting-edge infrastructures and state-of-the-art education system, Singapore is one of the top 10 most chosen countries for international students. Singapore holds the status of leading finance, business, and education hub with a colorful multicultural heritage that allows international students to have a fruitful learning experience!

Education in Singapore VS Malaysia

When comparing whether one should study in Singapore or Malaysia, there are a few interesting pointers that distinguish between these two countries. The difference in rankings for adult literacy rate does not differ by much with Singapore ranking at 41 and Malaysia at 49.

So, what makes Singapore a more “superior and ideal” country to study at?

  • 28.7% of Singapore’s male labour force possesses tertiary education qualifications while only 20% of Malaysian counterparts do so
  • Results from Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA) differentiate both country’s educational system. Singapore is ranked second in the world in Math, Science and Reading while Malaysia is ranked 48th, 48th, and 57th respectively.

Singapore is also known for its diverse and vibrant living environment, as well as its high standards of safety. As one of the world’s safest cities, it provides a secure foundation upon which students are welcome to explore and pursue a higher education.

Unique Features of Singapore’s Education System

There are some unique features in the education system in Singapore:

  • Transmission of conventional knowledge

    Worksheets, textbooks, mastery, and understanding of processes and procedures are well emphasised on in all Singapore schools.

  • Emotional and social support

    In every Singapore school, there will be at least a school counsellor that works closely with the management of the school to ensure the wellbeing of students. Counsellors are able to identify students who are at high risk in emotional and social areas and provide the necessary support.

  • Well-trained and best-in-class teachers

    Every teacher in Singapore has to be trained in the National Institute of Education (NIE)before being qualified as a teacher. Trainings in the NIE are specially provided for the specific subjects that the individual wishes to go for and it emphasises on the mastery of that subject’s content.

What Malaysian Students Need to Do Before Studying in Singapore

There are certain procedures for any foreign students that wish to study locally to be completed. Listed below are some of the most important procedures to take note, for more information you can head on to the Ministry of Education website.

  • Malaysian Primary (excluding primary 1)/ Secondary school students:

    Must complete and attain an acceptable result in the Admission Exercise for the International Students (AEIS) or the Supplementary Admission Exercise for International Students (S-AEIS).

    Find out more about the AEIS test format here.

  • Malaysian Primary 1 students / Junior college students:

    For students entering Primary 1, do take note of the relevant dates that will be stated on the Ministry of Education website. International students can take part in the Primary 1 Registration Exercise during this period of time and will be notified in October if their child can be offered a place in the chosen Primary school.

    For students looking to enrol into a Junior College, you are to directly apply to the chosen school in question during the application period.

  • Malaysian tertiary education students:

    It is compulsory for all foreign students to complete 12 years of primary and secondary school education and possess an official secondary school-level qualification as well as a base level of proficiency in English for any students who wish to pursue tertiary education.

    Students will also have to complete certain entry requirement tests based on the specific courses of study they have chosen to pursue in.

  • All general foreigners:

    All students who have been accepted by a government, government-aided or independent school are to possess a Student’s Pass which can be made online. Further clarification on this matter may be provided by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

    Vaccinations against Measles and Diphtheria are to be taken for every student aged 12 and below before receiving the Student’s Pass.

Applying to study in Singapore

There are tons of valid reasons why Malaysian students are willing and should consider studying in Singapore. It is undeniable that many successful people have emerged through Malaysia’s education system, but Singapore offers a great alternative for students who wish to study abroad because of its lifestyle and strong education system.

To study in Singapore, you will require a Student’s Pass. Some students will need a visa in addition to this. After being accepted into a university, the visa will be applied for by the university.

The student, however, msut apply for a Student Pass to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) through the Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration System (SOLAR), between 1 to 2 months before the start of the course. The following need to be submitted:

  • eForm 16

  • Passport details

  • The University’s address

  • The applicant’s email address

  • A passport sized photo

Upon arrival in Singapore, the applicant will need to visit the ICA for the collection of the Student Pass. A fee of SGD $60 must be paid up front.

Malaysia Incorporation Specialist Jacey

Even though the initial adjustments maybe be tough, and some students will not be able to ‘fit into society’ the rewards that are reaped in the future will last a lifetime!


Come down to our office or get in touch with us virtually for company incorporation, visa applications, and other corporate services.


What are the entry requirements to study in Singapore?2021-09-14T12:51:49+08:00

The entry requirements vary widely in terms of whichever institute you are interested in, so be sure to do enough research and find out what are the requirements before submitting or making any decisions!

Can I work whole having my studies at the same time as an international student?2021-09-14T12:51:15+08:00

Yes, international students are allowed to work part-time of 16 hours maximum legally only if they are full-time registered students.

Do I need a visa to study in Singapore?2021-09-14T12:50:30+08:00

Yes, a visa is needed to study in Singapore. International students are required to hold a student’s pass from the ICA of Singapore.

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